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Chris Johnson says Titans were “nasty” for cutting him so late

Johnson AP

No one was surprised that the Titans decided to move on from running back Chris Johnson.  Plenty were surprised by the timing, with the move coming on April 4, more than three weeks after the free-agency market opened.

Even though Johnson has joined the Jets, he has some lingering animosity toward the Titans for waiting so long.  And he thinks it may have been deliberate.

“I think they was just being nasty to be honest,” Johnson told Alex Marvez and Keith Bulluck of SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday night.  “I love Tennessee, I love my fans and all that, but I think at the end of the day [the Titans] did me wrong.  And I don’t know if it was, ‘Oh, we’re gonna get revenge back on you for holding out’ when I held out the whole training camp [in 2011] or whatever.  I feel like they already knew they were going in a different direction, and it just baffles me that you release me after free agency is over and you wait until a couple days [before] it’s time to show up for offseason workouts to let me go.”

Ostensibly, the Titans were hoping to trade Johnson.  But it should have been clear even before the free-agency market opened on March 11 that the Titans wouldn’t be finding anyone to take Johnson’s $8 million base salary — especially with Johnson unwilling to reduce it by much.

That’s why it’s important to have contractual triggers early in the league year (like Johnson had in 2012 and 2013), forcing the team to make a decision in time for the player to hit the market while the money is still there.  Ideally, the decision should have to be made in the days after the start of the annual waiver period, which begins after the Super Bowl.  The next best alternative would be to have money come due early in the league year, in March.

Without a deadline (or with an annual crap-or-get-off-the-crapper deadline in April . . . cough . . . Colin Kaepernick . . . cough), the team has the power to be nasty and/or to do a guy wrong, because in reality the team is doing nothing wrong.  The team is merely exercise its rights under the contract the player signed.

In this case, it’s hard to feel too sorry for Johnson, given that he made $30 million from August 2011 through December 2013 at a devalued position.  But he’s nevertheless motivated to show the Titans they made a mistake.

“I’m gonna make them regret letting me go,” Johnson said.  “They’re gonna regret it.  Trust that.”

They’ll get a chance to regret it directly on December 14, when Johnson returns to Nashville for a game against the Titans.

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52 Responses to “Chris Johnson says Titans were “nasty” for cutting him so late”
  1. floratiotime says: Jun 18, 2014 9:41 AM

    This guy basically stole his contract. That’s pretty nasty too.

  2. ijahru says: Jun 18, 2014 9:42 AM

    Chris you were nasty for holding out for more money then not delivering on the field for the amount of money you were paid.

  3. abninf says: Jun 18, 2014 9:43 AM

    “I’m gonna make them regret letting me go,”
    ==================================

    You should have made them want to keep you.

  4. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says: Jun 18, 2014 9:45 AM

    The situation of a spark…

  5. eagleswin says: Jun 18, 2014 9:45 AM

    They let their best linemen walk to pay Chris Johnson. Without the linemen blowing wide open lanes Johnson became just another speed back, nothing special.

    Many times the offensive line plays a huge part in how a running back performs, the Titans forgot that and Johnson didn’t really care as long as the team backed up the Brinks truck.

  6. kerzondax says: Jun 18, 2014 9:45 AM

    His under performance aside … just factually … it was an odd move. A move they have the right to make, but odd nonetheless.

  7. deafcone says: Jun 18, 2014 9:47 AM

    what goes around comes around Chris.

  8. joeflaccoallday says: Jun 18, 2014 9:47 AM

    Titans sucked anyway.

  9. 700levelvet says: Jun 18, 2014 9:48 AM

    What a crybaby

  10. weepingjebus says: Jun 18, 2014 9:48 AM

    Millionaires vs. Billionaires.

  11. blackstrat says: Jun 18, 2014 9:49 AM

    You hold out for more money even though you are under contract. As a result you’re conditioning is compromised and you get injured and don’t help your team all year, yet, you cash each game paycheck.
    It works both way Chris.

  12. itsfootballbaby says: Jun 18, 2014 9:51 AM

    They paid the dude $30 million and then cut him 3 weeks later than he would’ve liked. Cry me a river Chris..

  13. Getoffmylawn! says: Jun 18, 2014 9:52 AM

    They wouldn’t have done that if you played better. If you played well like you were paid, they could have traded you. You did them wrong (Titans and your fans) by taking $30 million and playing poorly.

  14. dexterismyhero says: Jun 18, 2014 9:53 AM

    You get your chance on 12/14 @ the Titans. Shut until then dufus.

  15. schmitty2 says: Jun 18, 2014 9:53 AM

    For him to say anything negative about the Titans considering his production after he got the new contract is “Ironic” in it’s purest form.

  16. stillersfan says: Jun 18, 2014 9:55 AM

    You treated the Titans like crap, held out into a season when they needed you, and you’re surprised they did YOU wrong? You reap what you sow.

  17. bigbenh8tr says: Jun 18, 2014 9:55 AM

    ijahru says:
    Jun 18, 2014 9:42 AM
    Chris you were nasty for holding out for more money then not delivering on the field for the amount of money you were paid.
    _________________________________
    You can’t be expected to deliver every year behind a non-existent offensive line and a team with no qb, and no quality wr’s and a new coach

  18. r502 says: Jun 18, 2014 9:58 AM

    His speaking grammar needs a little work.

  19. tennesseeoilers says: Jun 18, 2014 9:59 AM

    The Titans made this decent running back (who was a one-hit wonder) one of the richest men in America. … And he feels slighted?

  20. nyninerfan says: Jun 18, 2014 9:59 AM

    I’m sure they regret offering him that ridiculous contract to begin with. Dude’s been cashing checks he hasn’t earned since he signed it.

  21. farmmbig says: Jun 18, 2014 10:00 AM

    Chris is a victim? And now he’s focusing on playing great?… Yep– Sports is a good reflection on how our society operates.

  22. metrocritical says: Jun 18, 2014 10:07 AM

    He’s already made them regret the re-negotiated contract. In matters of Chris Johnson, the Titans are probably done with their regrets.

  23. r8rsfan says: Jun 18, 2014 10:11 AM

    NY media is gonna have a field day with his third grade vernacular. Should never speak directly to anyone outside the organization.

  24. mrmojo448 says: Jun 18, 2014 10:12 AM

    I think you should all read between the lines here.

    Because they cut him 3 weeks later than he would have liked, he is now playing for the J-E-T-S. That is why he’s angry. He probably feels if they cut him 3 weeks earlier, he’d be on a Super Bowl Contender and now he’s contending for 2nd best team its own city.

  25. ziplock10 says: Jun 18, 2014 10:19 AM

    ATTENTION ALFRED MORRIS!!!!

    The rookie contract rules screws RB’s.

    After 2015, his $$ total is 2.22 million.

    Forget I’m an idiot Redskin fan.

    4 years of 5200+ yards gets you how many 4 to 6 year contracts??

    Ain’t happening!!

    Every RB with 2300+ yards, THEY HAVE to hold out!!

    They only have a 7 to 8 year life in the + total!

    Just saying..

  26. notthetroll says: Jun 18, 2014 10:20 AM

    At least these NFL guys have to participate in part of the ‘real world’.
    Imagine what it’s like for the rest of us Chris.

  27. Asian Reporter Tricia Takanawa says: Jun 18, 2014 10:31 AM

    mrmojo448 says:
    Jun 18, 2014 10:12 AM
    I think you should all read between the lines here.

    Because they cut him 3 weeks later than he would have liked, he is now playing for the J-E-T-S. That is why he’s angry. He probably feels if they cut him 3 weeks earlier, he’d be on a Super Bowl Contender and now he’s contending for 2nd best team its own city
    __________________

    After hearing him speak, do you really think he is smart enough to pull that off? Although, it is the only logical explanation. After all, it isnt like running backs were cashing in before he was cut (costing him millions)…

  28. tcostant says: Jun 18, 2014 10:44 AM

    Nasty – they could have waited for August. And maybe should have, if a team had a RB injury, they might have got a 7th round pick, for you a dancing slug.

  29. ziplock10 says: Jun 18, 2014 10:50 AM

    DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    HE’S MADE 14 MILLION TOTAL.

    OUTSIDE OF PETERSON WHOSE MADE 52 MILLION…

    ANY OF IDIOT TROLLS WOULD BE A BIT BITTER???

  30. tennesseetitan78 says: Jun 18, 2014 10:51 AM

    Chris you should be mad at yourself and agent for signing the contract you did for giving the rivers for the Titans to do what they did. The Titans did nothing wrong. They were holding out trying to trade you in which they have every right to do so. But making $30 mil in 2 yrs, and you say the Titans did you wrong?? Get outta here with all of that. Your performance went down hill terriblely after you got paid.. That’s the fact!! And for the person that wants to talk about our “bad o-line, wr’s, coach, etc, etc” is the reason for him not being able to play well.. Then tell me something, the past couple of yrs did AP have a good QB? O-line? wr’s? Coach??? No but he still produces on a high level!!! CJ was getting paid like a top RB, and was NOT producing!! The Titans would’ve been dumb to keep him for that price.. I think he was nasty to them by not willing to take a paid cut and be fair to the Titans. Get paid what your worth. But at the end if the day Chris…..it’s a business!!

  31. jazz11001 says: Jun 18, 2014 10:53 AM

    It is business and an evolving market/game. Instances like this define the league and ultimately push toward changes. Chris didn’t do anything wrong, the Titans didn’t do anything wrong, it just …happened. That’s it. Remember the prima donna WR era? Moss, Horn, Ocho, Owens? many over paid all of them released. It happens.

  32. explosionsauce says: Jun 18, 2014 10:56 AM

    Daily shot at Kaepernick, check!

  33. tennesseetitan78 says: Jun 18, 2014 10:56 AM

    But I wish you all the luck in NY, I’m sure it’s the time if yr you start making all your comments about how your gonna rush for 2000 or 2500 yds this season. But hey if the NY thing don’t work out you would be perfect for “Dancing with the Stars”!!

  34. eaglesnoles05 says: Jun 18, 2014 11:06 AM

    Chris Johnson should’ve taken less money and let them get an o-line in Tenn. You know chris? An O-line? The type of thing that made Emmitt Smith “better” than Barry Sanders?… I just throw up in my mouth a little typing that. It’s not true, to me, but it is true to some people. And just the fact that it can even possibly be considered true by some people means that an offensive line makes a HECKUVA difference.

  35. starchybunker says: Jun 18, 2014 11:10 AM

    eagleswin says:
    Jun 18, 2014 9:45 AM
    They let their best linemen walk to pay Chris Johnson. Without the linemen blowing wide open lanes Johnson became just another speed back, nothing special.

    that’s a great narrative, and the 2nd part is especially true…but the Titans did NOT let their best linemen walk to pay CJ…

    >Mawae = was done, retired
    >Leroy Harris/Eugene Amano = suddenly became terribly ineffective once Mawae retired.
    >Jake Scott = also declined rapidly

    all the above (sans Mawae) stayed on to block for CJ and were routinely mediocre to below-average…after their releases, none have started regularly/successfully in the league on a consistent basis…so the only “best” lineman to leave was Mawae, who had nothing left and retired…CJ’s pay was not a factor in keeping those linemen together…

  36. reporterofthetruth says: Jun 18, 2014 11:19 AM

    Titans hold Johnson to 70 yards in GrudgeBowl.

  37. SBoy says: Jun 18, 2014 11:19 AM

    Perhaps if CJ agreed to lower his salary to his current market figure he could have landed in a better situation or one more to his liking…

    No problem with Tennessee holding on (or holding out:) as long as they wanted to get a trade or to see if CJ would become more agreeable to lowering his salary as time went by, which would have helped facilitate a trade.

  38. rutchaser says: Jun 18, 2014 11:30 AM

    Good. Maybe they were paying you back for taking the money and turning into a lazy bum.

  39. cb2gbequalssb says: Jun 18, 2014 11:59 AM

    Went from one crappy team to another lol.
    CJ2K is a joke.

  40. sandy102270 says: Jun 18, 2014 12:18 PM

    The people who have to transcribe his diatribes should get paid twice whatever he gets.

  41. buckifan4life says: Jun 18, 2014 12:29 PM

    Cry me a river! They paid you a ton of money with your last contract and you basically laid down on them. And you’re upset!? Phuleeease…

  42. slobberknocker says: Jun 18, 2014 12:36 PM

    I bet CJ is also bitter because he now realizes that every dollar he spends in New York is about a 1/4 of what it’s worth in Tennessee.

    You’re the grocery store bag boy of running backs.

  43. tennesseeoilers says: Jun 18, 2014 1:13 PM

    Titans fans in Nashville know that Chris Johnson is extremely active on social media and he has been for many years … On a related note, I can’t help but notice all the comments above which have a landslide of “thumps up” responses and just one “thumb down” …

  44. numba1wiscosportsfan says: Jun 18, 2014 1:15 PM

    Maybe Mr. Johnston should have played better?

  45. rascalmanny says: Jun 18, 2014 1:30 PM

    If he ran as hard for yards as he runs his mouth he’d still be in TN.

  46. jayblack073 says: Jun 18, 2014 1:46 PM

    Bishop Sankey will make Tennessee forget all about CJ1k

  47. thenewguy12 says: Jun 18, 2014 2:10 PM

    Chris Johnson might not be the dumbest guy in the NFL but he is definitely a contender.

  48. skolvikings62992 says: Jun 18, 2014 2:18 PM

    build a bridge chris

  49. doctormantistoboggan says: Jun 18, 2014 2:30 PM

    you don’t just get paid for having “cop speed” these days….

  50. raidermavan says: Jun 18, 2014 2:54 PM

    Shut up CJ. You have been a nasty thorn in the side for the Titans for way to long. Just be quiet and prove your a quality back.

  51. johnnyprc says: Jun 18, 2014 4:04 PM

    Chris Johnson should be thanking his lucky stars he got the kind of money he did for the production. I would have been mad too if I was the Titans.

  52. titansbro says: Jun 18, 2014 6:49 PM

    I won’t regret it even if you go for 2k yards again. Why? Because you’ll still be 8-8 at best.

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